I had what I consider to be a rather telling moment in the greenhouse this weekend. I was planting out week-old lettuce seedlings that’d seen their first seven days under the lights indoors, when it started raining. Actually, it had been raining all day, not hard, but now it started pouring. As the downpour drummed the plastic, I realized I was getting wet: it was raining on ME. Looking up to see what kind of hole to expect, thus assessing what kind of greenhouse repairs need to be added to that growing list of spring chores I…laughed out loud. Yep: it was merely raining so hard that the ever-present condensation was simply getting knocked off the plastic, thus, raining indoors.
I haven’t had many laugh-out-loud moments in these last few months so this was quite welcome.
Nancy Bubel suggests that the tiny cold-loving seedlings like these lettuces can handle the stress of transplanting better than their bigger siblings, and I agree with her. It is a bit of a tease pulling these little things out of their crowded pots but the longer I wait the more tangled their roots become. The stems, likewise, on older seedlings are taller and weaker and thus are more prone to damage. I simply pry the entire plant out of its cottage-cheese cup with a screwdriver and lift it gently by its leaves to plant it in a waiting hole drummed into the bed with my handy dibber. The hole is about 2″ deep, as are the roots; the plants are maybe an inch tall above ground.